AIR, a developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, announced that its flagship eVTOL AIR ONE has completed its first full forward flight, successfully transitioning from hover flight to cruise flight.
The announcement, which was issued in a statement, on December 18, 2022, comes five months after the prototype completed its hover flight testing, alongside multiple successful and extensive propulsion, electronic and stability tests.
“AIR’s full-scale AIR ONE prototype, loaded to full capacity of 1100kg (2425lbs), took off and transitioned to its nominal cruising speed,” AIR said.
“This landmark accomplishment kicks off thousands of flight hours planned for the AIR ONE as part of its [Federal Aviation Administration] certification process, which will see range, speed, and endurance increase as AIR continues to optimize the aircraft to achieve its design flight profile,” the statement continued.
Commenting on the successful operation Rani Plaut, the CEO and co-founder of AIR, said: “It is thrilling to have reached this moment in our journey as we strive to build the foundation to make personal air mobility a reality.”
Plaut added: “AIR is incredibly proud to play a role in the global [advanced air mobility] movement, and we’re looking forward and upward to 2024 when adoption of privately-owned eVTOLs takes flight.”
“First-of-its-kind” eVTOLs for personal use
The advanced air mobility (AAM) market focuses on the emerging innovations and commercial applications of vehicles such as air taxis. However, according to the statement, AIR, which is based in Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Israel, is spearheading a new category in the form of personal air mobility.
“AIR’s unique eVTOL for personal use offers an everyday alternative for short distance commuting in the sky,” the company said.
The AIR ONE, an all-electric two-seater aircraft, can take off and land on any flat surface with a 250kg payload and offers a practical long range on a single charge at speeds up to 155 mph (250 km/h).
More than 260 AIR ONE (eVTOL) aircraft have been preordered.